Inforum, or the Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland, was founded 45 years ago by Dr. Clopper Almon, now Professor Emeritus of the University. It is dedicated to improving business planning, government policy analysis, and the general understanding of the economic environment. Inforum accomplishes this mission through:

• Building and using structural economic models of U.S. and other economies. Inforum pioneered the construction of dynamic, interindustry, macroeconomic models which portray the economy in a unique "bottom-up" fashion.

• Working with government and private sector research sponsors to investigate a variety of issues. Economic projections and analysis using Inforum econometric models are distinguished by detail at the industrial and product level.

• Serving as a training crucible for University of Maryland graduate and undergraduate students who receive valuable training in empirical economics. Indeed, Inforum graduate research assistants have completed over 40 Ph.D. dissertations, most of which have contributed directly to the infrastructure of Inforum.

• Maintaining active and productive ties with a world-wide network of research associates, each of which uses Inforum modeling methods and software. The Inforum partners have held annual conferences since 1993 to foster cooperation and development of economic knowledge and techniques.

Since its founding in 1967 by Dr. Clopper Almon, Inforum has served government agencies and private sector entities interested in economic analysis facilitated by Inforum's approach. In particular, Interindustry-Macroeconomic (IM) models combine input-output structure with econometric equations in a dynamic and detailed framework. Because of their ability to portray the detailed structure of economies over actual time periods, these models fill an important gap in the inventory of existing models of the U.S. and foreign economies. In addition to forecasting, the models are often used to answer "what if" questions on the impact across industries of fluctuation in the macroeconomic environment, such as changes in exchange rate or tax policy.


Selected news stories are listed below. A complete listing of recent news also is available.

Catching Up: Greater Focus Needed to Achieve A More Competitive Infrastructure September 23, 2014 - The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) worked with Inforum to investigate the economic benefits of a renewed effort to meet the United States' infrastructure needs. The report, "Catching Up: Greater Focus Needed to Achieve A More Competitive Infrastructure," documents the history of infrastructure investments to reveal steep declines of investment over the past decade. Inforum's LIFT model was used to consider the effects of higher spending levels for infrastructure, finding substantial gains possible for productivity, income, and GDP. Lifting The Oil Exports Ban October 2014 - The Aspen Institute’s program on Manufacturing and Society in the 21st Century and the MAPI Foundation, the research affiliate of the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, jointly sponsored a report titled Lifting the Crude Export Oil Ban: The Impact on U.S. Manufacturing. The paper employed the Inforum LIFT economic forecasting model to analyze how removing the ban on crude oil exports could add to growth in manufacturing by stimulating higher levels of oil production in the United States. The study found both macroeconomic benefits and industrial sector gains.
International Conferences in Lisbon, Portugal and in Alexandria, VA July - September 2014 - The International Input-Output Association held its 22nd International Conference in Lisbon, Portugal in July 2014. Doug Meade made a keynote presentation, "Some Thoughts about the Interindustry Macroeconomic Model," and Ron Horst presented "The Supply Side of Health Care." The 22nd Inforum World Conference, hosted by the University of Maryland, was held in Alexandria, Virginia in September 2014. Over 40 participants from around the globe gathered to discuss their recent work. The Supply Side of Health Care April 15, 2014 - There is a common assertion that health care is over one-sixth of the economy, but this conclusion is based only on a measure of health care demand. It is much more difficult to identify a corresponding ratio in terms of value added and employment. Our work reconciles information about the supply and demand sides of the national health sector. We link the National Health Expenditure Accounts to domestic production and imports, value added, and employment.

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